On Friday afternoon, SMRT, the institute and the National Transport Workers' Union signed a memorandum of understanding to develop and launch a new career centre, which will be open to all public and private bus operators. The career centre will be set up at the institute's premises in Jurong East.
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Here is an excerpt of the joint statement by e2i, SMRT and NTWU:
First bus career development centre for Singapore
e2i (Employment and Employability Institute) and SMRT Corporation Ltd signed an agreement today that paves the way for the joint development and operation of Singapore's first Bus Career Development Centre (BCDC).
The e2i-SMRT Memorandum of Understanding leverages on core strengths in both organisations to nurture and provide meaningful employment and skills for Singaporean bus professionals. The partnership will drive the professionalising of the Singapore's bus industry through these initiatives:
a) A progressive wage model for staff in SMRT Buses. This charts out career pathways and gives staff meaningful careers through better defined routes of advancement and the opportunity for workers to regularly upskill themselves to keep pace with the industry.
b) The setting up of an Integrated Driving and Service Control (iDSC) simulator in Jurong East as part of a broader effort to use advanced technology to raise productivity for the bus industry. The iDSC will be first of its kind in Singapore that incorporates the Service Control Management System to allow bus captains to train together with service controllers to reduce bus bunching and improve bus service reliability. For the bus driving simulator, it employs latest simulation technologies to create virtual traffic scenarios which are too dangerous for bus drivers to practice in real life so as to enhance safe driving competencies.
In raising skills and career progressions for bus professionals, the partners will set up the first Bus Career Development Centre (BCDC) in Singapore. The BCDC will be ready in about a year's time at the Devan Nair Institute for Employment and Employability. There will be 16 simulators which will improve training quality and safety as drivers learn how to navigate different buses, weather, and road conditions virtually before starting on-the-job.
Open to both public and private bus operators in Singapore, the BCDC will usher in a new era for the training of bus drivers and team-based learning for workers who deploy and monitor bus operations to improve services. This one-stop centre targets to enhance the training for at least 3,000 Singaporean Bus Drivers over the first 3 years of operations.
To help Singaporeans learn about how the MOU will transform the bus industry, e2i and SMRT have jointly organised the first-ever Bus Carnival and Career Fair over 2 days (Sep 12 and 13). Gracing the event on its opening day was Mr Lim Swee Say, NTUC Secretary-General. The event, which features up to 10 booths, will allow the public to gain first-hand experience on a bus simulator, view static display exhibits to learn more about buses and learn more about gracious commuting; while job seekers can sign up for job opportunities with SMRT. The event is expected to attract participants from the community, schools, and bus industry partners.